Viewing digital screens such as laptops or smartphones involve an active vision process to maintain a clear image, called accommodation. Accommodation is the mechanism where the eyes change focus from distant to near images by contracting the ciliary muscles, which allows the shape of the lens to be more rounded and hence allowing near image to focus on the retina, giving clear vision to the objects.
The eye accommodates for distance vision by relaxing the ciliary muscle, allowing the pliable lenses to become more elongated, and lead the incoming light to focus on the retina. Exposing our eyes to focus near objects for an extended period, such as reading from a smartphone, playing games using laptops or tablets, require the ciliary muscle to contract for a long time. When the ciliary muscle fails to relax when the eyes changing focus to a distance objects, this is called ‘Accommodation Spasm’. The distance objects will seem blurry, which leads to the occurrence of pseudo-myopia or false short-sightedness. Fortunately, this condition is temporary and will disappears after discontinuing the use of digital screens.